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What’s a Roast?

The Toronto Star had a writer in the audience for the recent Charlie Sheen Roast. Here’s his review:

The guest of honour endured a career’s worth of taunts during Saturday night’s taping of the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, but he ended by telling the audience that none of it really mattered.

In his final remarks of the night, an apparently sober Sheen said it was only once the smoke cleared from his very public flame-out that he realized just how lucky he was. While left without a job, he still had the support of his loved ones.

“I know that my family will always be there for me,” he said. “I’m done with the ‘winning,’ because I’ve already won.”

Sheen has subjected himself to a lot of abuse over the years, but not much could have prepared him for the barrage of barbs he endured in the show taped at the Sony Studios in Los Angeles.

“How do you roast a meltdown?” asked comedian Jeff Ross, who came dressed as deposed Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi. “Charlie’s meltdown was so bad, Al Gore’s making a documentary about it.”

Ross was one of 10 comedians and celebs who served as roasters of the former Two and a Half Men star.

Others included MC Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame, Star Trek hero William Shatner and boxing champion Mike Tyson, who performed some slightly unhinged slam poetry (“I didn’t do well in school, but I’m trying to do this s—,” he offered).

MacFarlane set the tone early, expressing disbelief that Sheen is still of this world. “This is a man,” he joked, “who’s living like his hearse is double-parked.” While the taping went off without a hitch, it was occasionally marred by petty insults about how fat, gay, or ugly the other roasters were, often at the expense of air-time for ribbing Sheen.

I was confused, and wrote to The Star:

 

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